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Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC 7100 Help

Show all reviews of the ICOM IC 7100

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AE7Q  Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2013 16:48  Send this review to a friend!
This is not your father's IC-7000  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
One of the important (to me) features in any transceiver, is the ability to verify a proper antenna/cable installation/match (this is best verified with an SWR meter in the radio). This is why, after replacing my Yaesu FT-897D with the Icom IC-7000 in 2006, shortly thereafter I purchased another FT-897D: The FT-897 has an internal SWR meter on all bands; the IC-7000, only on HF/50MHz.

Thus, when the IC-7100 was announced, I was curious as to its SWR meter. I asked an Icom employee if the IC-7100 displayed SWR on the VHF/UHF bands, and was told "No". I also asked if the IC-7100 was a "warmed-over" IC-7000 with D-Star added, and was told "Yes".

Fortunately, both answers are incorrect.

Last Friday I had nothing to do, so out of curiosity, I downloaded the IC-7100 advanced manual and started reading it. Imagine my surprise when I found that the manual makes a point of the fact that the SWR meter works on the VHF/UHF bands!

24 hours later, I owned one. Interestingly, the HRO salesperson also thought that the SWR meter didn't work on the VHF/UHF bands (I've verified that it does).

First of all, while I never had any durability problems with the IC-7000, the IC-7100 appears to be a more physically durable radio. The control head is heavy enough to not move around on the desk, the knobs seem more durable, and the radio body seems more solid as well.

A number of annoying "features" in the IC-7000 have been corrected as well; the best example is when using a memory frequency, the user "label" is displayed as well. The menu system seems less complicated. Going through the manual, there are a lot of minor additions that make this radio not a "warmed-over" IC-7000 (aside from the fact that the IC-7100 runs barely above room temperature). While the IC-7000 had one of the first Icom manuals to be both detailed and written clearly, The IC-7100's manual is even better.

The only detraction is that the radio comes with the primitive HM-198 microphone. The HM-151 microphone (standard with the IC-7000) is an optional accessory. The HM-151 microphone is really convenient for changing bands and for directly entering a frequency, so I swapped the microphones between the two radios.

The IC-7100 manual states that the cable between the control head and the radio body should not be replaced with an standard Ethernet cable, but the HRO salesperson said that it works, but recommended a shielded Ethernet cable. Since the Icom-supplied cable is ten feet long and I only need a one foot cable, I'm using a six-foot shielded Ethernet cable with no problems. Even so, I plan to get a shorter (shielded) cable.

You can operate the radio remotely via USB using Icom's RS-BA1 software (which I have not tried), and the IC-7100 manual gives a complete list of the remote commands available. 
Product is in production.
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